June 23, 2016

An open letter to Elizabeth Banks and her fans

Dear Elizabeth Banks,

I'm not a fan. I wouldn't even be writing this if one of your fans had not commented on this post, which meant Facebook added it to my newsfeed.

Now I know you're a famous celebrity and all, but seriously, your statement has some internal contradictions and deep ambiguities, this leaves it open to interpretation in a variety of different ways.

"Guns only have one purpose: to harm."

While this statement is factual, the recipient of harm is determined by the person pulling the trigger, not by the gun itself. Regulating firearms into complete non-existence will not remove mass murder from our society. Mass murderers will simply switch to homemade bombs or homemade chlorine/ammonia poison gas dispensers. Mass murder is not difficult to achieve and does not require a firearm.

"We must take gun sense seriously to protect American lives."

Well, yes, but do you and I define "gun sense" in the same way? To my way of thinking, "gun sense" means every American adult should be required by law to own a firearm, learn how to use it effectively, and have it on their person at all times. Many people would disagree with me, but many others would agree. What do you mean by, "gun sense"?

"It's become too easy to hurt each other."

Oh, yes! I wholeheartedly agree! Just look at the firestorm you've generated in your comments. So much hatred and vitriol on both sides of the debate. So much anger and hurt in so many broken lives. Has our common national (and even global) psyche been reduced to such cultural PTSD that we can't even talk to one another any more? That possibility frightens me far more than the firearms I own or the politicians who would love to take them away. (Yes, I know, not all politicians want to confiscate firearms from the American people, but a surprisingly large number of them at all levels of government actually do favor repealing the Second Amendment followed by mass confiscation.)

"Disarm hate, intolerance, and fear."

This is a lovely sentiment. It truly is. However, I cannot imagine any possibility of ever achieving it out here in the real world. Hatred, intolerance, and fear of others is hardwired into the human animal. It is one of the instincts we developed as a species that helped us claw our way to the top of the food chain. We cannot eliminate them from humanity. If we did manage to eliminate them, would we still be human?

Even plants spread poison and arm themselves with thorns. "Good" and "evil" are both completely natural states of existence. It is up to each individual human to decide which they will follow.